Readers may already be familiar with Hi, I’m a Witch, and My Crush Wants Me to Make a Love Potion thanks to the 2-volume light novel release from Cross Infinite World. Now the manga adaptation has made its way to the West, thanks to Yen Press, but does it prove a must-have? Let’s find out!
Our story follows Rose, who is known as the Good Witch of the Lake, thanks to her selling her humble home potions to those who seek her help to solve their problems. One day she’s visited by Sir Harij, a knight on whom she’s secretly had a crush for years and who has come looking for a love potion!
To start with, Rose tries to put Harij off by telling him that love potions are out of stock, expensive and time-consuming to make. However, Harij won’t be put off and tells Rose he’ll do whatever it takes to get his hands on the potion, so she’s left with no choice but to give in and send him off to gather materials.
Gathering the materials is a time-consuming trek and Rose only lets Harij gather one at a time, which means he must come back and forth to visit her throughout the creation of the potion. Rose is hoping that by stalling on completing the potion, she’ll be able to earn a place in Harij’s heart, even if that’s unlikely to turn into a romance, given, she assumes, he has his eye on someone else, due to his request.
Rose has been harbouring these feelings for Harij for four years now, based on a single encounter where he stood up for her when others were badmouthing the Good Witch of the Lake. But at the time, the two never spoke to one another, so as far as Harij’s concerned, his first meeting with her is when he comes to her with his request. But as he spends more time coming and going from her home, Harij can’t help but grow increasingly concerned about the young witch.
Rose has been living all by herself on a small island in the middle of a lake in a forest since her grandmother passed away. Her humble abode is cluttered, with no space to enjoy a meal or even sit down without a tower of books or potion materials looming dangerously. And if that isn’t bad enough, Rose seems to sustain herself on (often wilted) lettuce alone! The more time Harij spends with Rose, the more he wants to protect her and improve her quality of life and the more we readers hope that romance will bloom between them.
I confess I have already read the original light novels, so I know exactly where this story goes but that didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the manga one bit. Brought to life by artist Kamada (Dahlia in Bloom), the art is as cute as you’d expect from a romance manga. Both Rose and Harij are attractive characters and their interactions are portrayed in entertaining ways with plenty of comical faces mixed in with the more romantically charged sections.
There is quite a lot of dialogue which sometimes threatens to overwhelm the pages (particularly because Kamada always draws smaller panels), but on the whole, I think the artist has done well to strike a comfortable balance. We’ve not really lost anything in the transition from light novel to manga and I’d argue the art goes a long way to making this one even more attractive to readers than the original was. It certainly makes Rose and Harij likeable characters, as we watch over their interactions with one another.
As previously mentioned Hi, I’m a Witch, and My Crush Wants Me to Make a Love Potion Volume 1 comes to the West thanks to Yen Press and has been translated by Alethea Nibley & Athena Nibley, with lettering by Rachel J. Pierce. The translation reads well and the terms and names used are consistent with those in the light novel release, so no complaints here! The manga is ongoing in Japan with 2 volumes (3 in September), but Volume 2 currently doesn’t have an English release date so we will likely be waiting a while to continue with this one.
Overall Hi, I’m a Witch, and My Crush Wants Me to Make a Love Potion Volume 1 is a sweet romance that offers a fun read for both newcomers to the story and those who may have enjoyed the original light novels. Particularly worth checking out if you’re looking for a series about young adults rather than high-schoolers!